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Vol. LXI, No. 32
 
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
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Cinema

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.


FOLLOW MY INSTRUCTIONS EXACTLY, AND YOU WILL BE SAFE: Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), unsuccessfully tries to save the life of the reporter who revealed Bourne's identity in a Guardian front page article. The reporter, played by Paddy Considine (not shown), is being stalked by the CIA and is assassinated. As a result, Bourne is forced to flee his enemies while desperately trying to find clues about his identity.

The Bourne Ultimatum: Amnesiac Assassin Damon Delivers Again in Action Adventure

Kam Williams

Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is a man without a past. After he was found half dead, floating in the Mediterranean off the coast of Italy several years ago, he has been searching for clues to his identity. Since he was suffering from amnesia when he was revived, all he knew about himself is that he was a CIA-trained assassin and that, for some reason, the Agency now wants him dead and is willing to go to great lengths to kill him.

Consequently, Bourne spends most of his time on the run, desperately trying to survive while simultaneously ferreting out clues about who he is and why he is considered such a threat to U.S. security. Although he has successfully fought off all of his attackers, he wasn't able to prevent the murder of his girlfriend, Marie (Franka Potente).

Since one of the staples of the action adventure genre is a beautiful woman whom the hero has to protect, The Bourne Ultimatum has CIA Agent Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) suddenly switch sides to collaborate with Bourne. Otherwise, the movie unfolds much like the earlier stories in the spine-tingling series, and measures up to them in terms of intrigue and intensity.

At the point of departure, Bourne is in Russia, however, his identity is about to be revealed in England in a front page story in the Guardian. After the story's publication, he goes to England to interrogate the investigative reporter (Paddy Considine) about his sources for the article. However, the CIA has the journalist's office near Waterloo Station staked out, and someone puts a bullet in his head before Bourne has a chance to talk to him.

The incident flushes Bourne out of hiding, and starts a manhunt which will have our protagonist eluding and/or eliminating enemies in Paris, Madrid, Turin, and Morocco. All during this chase, Bourne is simultaneously gathering information about his identity, and the chase culminates in a showdown in New York City. In this installment of the series, Bourne matches wits with CIA director Ezra Kramer (Scott Glenn), internal investigator Pamela Landy (Joan Allen), special operations chief Noah Vosen (David Strathairn), field agent Paz (Edgar Ramirez), plus all the spies he can handle in wave after wave of attempts to assassinate him.

The post 9-11 plotline questions the CIA's interrogation tactics in the age of the Patriot Act. However, when push comes to shove, Bourne 3 basically remains a stunt driven Matt Damon vehicle about a relentless killing machine with amnesia caught up in a web of manic, mindless mayhem.

Excellent (4 stars). Rated PG-13 for violence and intense action. Running time: 111 minutes. Studio: Universal Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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